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December 28, 2008:

COUNTDOWN TO 2009

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, it’s the final countdown to our Rockin’ New Year’s Eve Bash, the grooviest and most happening Bash on all the Internet. I can only tell you – be there or be round. I’ll have more information as we continue our countdown to 2009. Meanwhile, for those who might not know, it is Sunday. I ask you, where else on all the Internet can you find such information? Nowhere, that’s where. Speaking of Sunday, yesterday was Saturday and a perfectly pleasant Saturday it was. For example, I got up. That was perfectly pleasant. I then girded my loins and did the long jog. After the long jog, I answered some e-mails and did a couple of errands and whatnot, then came home and had a little kugel whilst watching two episodes of Mannix. After that, I did some thinking about this and that and also that and this, most of which had to do with what I believe I will start writing come January first. I listened to some CDs and then I toddled over to my friend’s screening room to see two count them two motion pictures.

My friend Nancy was there, which means she brought her yummilicious egg salad sandwiches with her, which was a good thing as I hadn’t had anything but the kugel and some toast. I ate the equivalent of two small egg salad sandwiches, and I also had some popcorn (no butter). The first motion picture was entitled Last Chance Harvey, starring Mr. Dustin Hoffman and Miss Emma Thompson. My first question as regards this film is a simple one: Why would anyone, after reading this script, green-light it? It’s not that this kind of film can’t work because it can and did in An Affair To Remember and all the other romantic comedies that this film so tries to emulate and so fails. The first third, with the endless cross-cutting between hapless Hoffman and flustered Thompson was really irritating and filled with Screenwriting 101 contrivances. Once Mr. Hoffman and Miss Thompson meet, then it’s at least fun to watch two really good actors just having a good time. The thing is, when you position a film as a romantic comedy it better have some laughs – this film had, I think, two chuckles, and that was it. Part of that can be attributable to the wretched music score, which never quits and which is filled with all the horrible clichés one expects from today’s musical scores – no tunes, pizzicato strings for the “funny” scenes, and just droning string pads, which suck the life out of everything on display. I can’t imagine this film will do well, but then again, audiences seem to love stuff that I loathe. I didn’t loathe this film, but it was very unremarkable and it would have been completely unbearable were it not for Hoffman and Thompson. The wonderful Eileen Atkins is totally wasted. We then watched the second motion picture, which was entitled Seven Pounds. This was one of those irritating Crash-type films – heavy-handed, pointlessly oblique, and too long. It means well, but it’s just such a product of today’s misbegotten moviemaking that I just kept hitting myself in the head every time they’d get to yet another cliché. And the music – oh, Lord, the droning endless string pads and piano tinkling, and the songs – oh, Lord the songs were so pathetic, none more so than the “modern” versions of – wait for it – Feelin’ Good from Roar Of The Greasepaint, Smell Of The Crowd and – wait for it – Que Sera Sera (Whatever Will Be Will Be – maybe they used the latter because it has the word Will in the title). Will Smith is fine, and everyone else is fine, but it’s a real eye-roller of a film pretty much all the way through. I suppose there’s a way to make this kind of script work, but not with this director or any other director working today. I’m sure given Mr. Smith’s popularity and the Oscar-bait written all over it will insure it does fine at the box-office, but it just doesn’t cut the mustard or even the mayonnaise or the ketchup. And have I mentioned the music – oh, Lord, the music. Film scoring today has reached an all-time low – oh, a few scores are listenable, but most of them are just imitations of whatever the temp-track is, hence you just get the same score over and over – maybe they change the key or something, but it’s all the same, basically. Oh, and furthering today’s ridiculous moviemaking trends, both of these films are completely yellow – no blue to speak of. It’s no wonder that the youngsters doing transfers of classic color films are doing them wrong – they’re trying to make them look like today’s films. Well, stop it, because that’s not what real color looks like. LA does not have yellow skies when it’s sunny. Nor does the UK. Everyone looks like they have jaundice. It’s inane.

What am I, Ebert and Roeper all of a sudden? Why don’t we all click on the Unseemly Button below as we begin our final countdown to 2009.

Today, I shall do nothing but watch DVDs and eat reasonable foodstuffs and, of course, do the long jog. I’ll have a brief visit with former dear reader Hisaka, but otherwise the day is mine all mine. I shall also listen to at least five CDs.

Tomorrow, I know I have some errands and whatnot, but I can’t remember if I actually have to see anyone or not. I suppose if I do someone will let me know. And, of course, I’m hoping that the new Kritzerland release will show up early, maybe Tuesday or Wednesday.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, do the long jog, visit with Hisaka, watch DVDs, listen to CDs, and eat reasonable foodstuffs. Today’s topic of discussion: It’s free-for-all day, the day in which you dear readers get to make with the topics and we all get to post about them. So, let’s have loads of lovely topics and loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst we countdown to 2009 and our Rockin’ New Year’s Eve Bash.

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